Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday #2

Wednesdays are my new favourite day of the week.  Why?  Well, I get to see how well I'm doing with this whole weight loss thing.  Today I shot out of bed, and ran towards the bathroom to find the scale in a way that was not unlike a kid running to open a Christmas stocking. 

Starting weight: 292.1 pounds
Last week's weight:  286.8 pounds 
Today's weight:  280.1

OMG...that's a 6.7 pound loss!  That is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!  In fact, that's 12 pounds in 2 weeks!  

After dancing around a bit and squealing with glee and sharing my success with everyone in the immediate area (my husband Stéphane and my cat Cobweb)...I texted my ninja to tell him the news:
 
Suzie - And down 6.7 pounds this morning!!!
Jonathan - Down 6.7 since when?  Better question.  Weight?
Suzie - Since last Wednesday.  280.1!!!
Jonathan - Ok 6.7 in a week is good.  I want to try for 30Ibs down in 4 weeks.  So be perfect at home with the diet.
Suzie - Dude, I want this...and I'm a perfectionist.  I'll get 'er done.  

Um...also...30 pounds?  Where did that come from?  Okay, I guess that's my new goal.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I guess you had to be there...

Scene 2
(Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 - The Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre - the hallway closest to the weight room, there is a set of mats stage left.  Suzie and Jonathan are part way through their regular Tuesday afternoon strength training session, Suzie is drenched with sweat and wearing an over-sized Montreal Canadiens t-shirt, she is doing modified "mountain climbers" as Jonathan monitors the stopwatch on his phone, looks on and coaches her.)

               Jonathan
Get those legs up…

                Suzie
I can't, my belly's in the way!

               Jonathan
That’s what we’re trying to get rid of…keep ‘em up.

Procrastination? Who? Me?

There are new blog entries in the archive.  I wrote things out of order...form your own conclusions.  I'm prepared...haha...

Monday, January 28, 2013

This is the kind of math I like...

If it took Suzie 43 minutes to walk home from the gym last Tuesday after an hour of cardio and a whole bunch of strength training and it took her 40 minutes to walk home from the gym last Thursday after an hour of cardio; how long did it take her to walk home from the gym today?  

33 minutes!  Woot!  And I danced on the sidewalk at red lights like a big eejit...and a total stranger said, "Good for you!" while I was crossing the Blue Bridge.  Ladies and gents, if you see me en route...don't just stare, whistle too!  Haha...

What is the moral of this story problem?  I like subtraction...the rest of math can suck it.

Oh, and here's a selection of what got me moving faster today:

Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama
 
Der Dritte Raum - Swing Bob
 Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Little Demon
Stereogram - Walkie Talkie Man
 
 Hedley - Cha-Ching
 Screaching Weasel - I Love You
Shane MacGowan - Ceilidh Cowboy
The Trojans - Arna-fari (Scotland the Brave)
 The Clash - London Calling
Jill Sobule - Supermodel
Cary Ann Hearst - Hell's Bells
Joan Jett - Bad Reputation 
 The Bloodhound Gang - The Bad Touch
Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand
Mickey Avalon - Jane Fonda
Gwen Stefani - Wind it Up
Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Generation X - Dancing With Myself
The Vapors - I'm Turning Japanese
 Sweet - Ballroom Blitz
Killers - Human
Jack White - Love is Blindness
Massive Attack - Paradise Circus

Saturday, January 26, 2013

No rest for the wicked

Okay...so I get one day of rest per week.

Today is Saturday, and I don't have to go into the gym.  Here I bounce at the computer on my exercise ball, writing, and trying hard not to fall forwards, or backwards, or sideways.  It's a tricky new "chair."  Already tried to kill me a few times, but it's much easier on my arse than a traditional model.  I now live in constant fear of popping it.  So far, so good.

I also live in fear of what's happening tomorrow.  Tomorrow, Jonathan has invited me to join FITcampFITcamp...which I, at first, started calling FITfarm...I hope there are ponies!  And then, for some reason, changed to "FITclub."  What does that mean?

1st rule of FITclub is you do not talk about FITclub.
2nd rule of FITclub is you DO NOT talk about FITclub.
3rd rule of FITclub is if someone says "stop" or goes limp, taps out the FIT is over.

Wow, this is getting really weird, really fast.  I will leave you with this...upon hearing about FITclub, my good friend Vicky Voodoo said, “There better be a special handshake involved somewhere.”  I agree.  Or ponies.

Friday, January 25, 2013

An interruption from my Croatian conscience...upon hearing about my first training session with Jonathan...

Exorcist Suzie.
"That's so amazing from a woman who used to cross herself every time she passed a gym and her head used to spin around like The Exorcist at the thought of a cardio work out."

Yes, I've found my saviour.

"Yes, you have.  He's the angel and I'm your devil.  A perfect balance." 

Carded at the Crystal

My ninja has instructed me via text message to cardio it up each day this week and to stick a strength training session in before our meeting on Sunday.  Saturday is my one day off.

So what sensei says, Suzie does.  

Suzie + Stéffi on Teen Night.  18 And Life to Go!
Stéphane and I headed to the Crystal to do some cardio together tonight.  First, we had to get Stéffi a membership.  Even though Skyler wasn't manning the front desk, my Frenchie was allowed to make a goofy face for the webcam and so now we both have ridiculous membership cards.  We sweated our arses off amongst the tween hipsters, hard-core boxers, just-got-off-workers, and pool crowd.  And then something bizarre happened - we got kicked out of the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre.

What?

How is this possible?  I didn't throw part of an order of curry chips out the 3rd storey window...I didn't bite the security guard...and Stéphane didn't start a ruckus altercation over bratwurst and sauerkraut...so why did we get kicked out?  Well, apparently, we were over-aged.  Wait, we can't pass for 19?  This reeks of ageism!  However, I fully support the Crystal for offering teens a fun exercisy place to hang out on a Friday night.  And it was quite the show...I had no idea you could kill it on a treadmill in jeans slung so low that you have to adjust your gate to keep them up, to say nothing of exercising in a puffa jacket and tuque.   

Cardio DONE.  No strength training tonight.  Sad face.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

And my Croatian conscience rears his ugly head...

"Bublićka, do you make exercise or EXTRA SIZE?"

Mixology

Mistress of the mix @ Logan's Pub.
Remember making the perfect mixed tape?  I sure do.  I had a pretty specific pattern that I used to use for song groupings.  There's something about 3s that I have always loved, especially good for creating musical sandwiches.  That even carried into my mixed CD making days, but now there's random and playlist, so unless I'm deejaying...there will be no sandwiches.  Come to think of it, I should probably give up sammis anyway...too many carbs.

What does all this have to do with losing weight and exercise you ask?  Well, I'll tell you.  CARDIO MIXING.

The only way I'm going to push myself to do more than I think I can do (without Jonathan sneaking up behind me and increasing the tension/incline/weight) is by taking in a kick-ass cardio cocktail.

Today's playlist was inspired by Halloween...and the fact that I want to look more sexy vampire and less great pumpkin.  They are of course in no particular order..as random has become my friend.

Reverend Horton Heat - The Devil's Chasing Me
The Gun Club - Ghost on the Highway
Los Straitjackets - Munsters' Theme
The Groovie Ghoulies - (She's My) Vampire Girl
The Ghastly Ones & Rob Zombie - Halloween (She Get So Mean)
The Sonics - The Witch
Alice Cooper - Feed My Frankenstein
Mad Sin - Wicked Witch
Misfits - Ghouls Night Out
The Frantics - Werewolf
The Living End - Witch Doctor
 David Bowie - Scary Monsters
The Cramps - Human Fly
Nekromantix - Monster Movie Fan

And a little Screaming Jay Hawkins - I Put a Spell On You for cool down.  Haha...

Almost Famous

 
And we're in the paper!

Read all about us in the Times Colonist: 

Fitness tips for Week One prepare you for success 

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”  - Zig Zigler

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm being trained by a ninja.

I looked up the word ninjas at www.merriam-webster.com and it said, "ERROR:  NINJAS CANNOT BE FOUND."  Well played ninjas, well played.

I looked up Jonathan on MIJO Sport's Facebook page...and I found this.  So, apparently ninjas are hard to find, but if you're very lucky you can sometimes capture them in photographs.

Jonathan's the shinobi on the right.

And yes, I realise that taekwondo is from Korea...and ninjas are from Japan. 

Weigh-In Wednesday #1

This is how I used to feel.
Happy Hump Day!   

Well, it's the very middle of the week and my weigh-in day.  I have found this day in particular to be THE best day for weighing in...and believe you me, I have had lots of experience with the picking of the days.  

My first serious attempt at losing weight had me weighing in on Saturdays at 9:30 AM in a nondescript building on Ste-Catherine's Street in downtown Montréal.  When I showed up, it was fine...but at least half the time I would wake up in Westmount at well past that time with quite a hankering for a greasy breakfast at Cosmos....mmmm...Nick's potatoes.  Wednesdays just seem right as they are just far enough away from any alcohol fuelled momentary lapses in judgement suffered on Friday or Saturday nights (possibly resulting in the eating of an entire bag of Doritos and/or chow mein with extra peanut sauce and spring rolls from that Thai restaurant on St-Laurent that used to be so dirty, but soooooo good)...where was I?  Oh ya, you can make up for those on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  So Wednesday it is.       


Noodle fetish.
This time round...

Starting weight: 292.1 pounds
This week's weight:  286.8 pounds

*Burst of confetti*

Yay!  I'm a loser.  5.3 pounds down in just one week.  That's 7 days of eating right and 2 workouts.  Not too shabby!

Here comes the dreaded second week...and that starts with me working my butt off at the Crystal for an hour of cardio.  Then having dinner later with some university friends at Futaba.  Luckily, I got to choose the restaurant...remember what I said about the Japanese being tiny?  Well, it may have something to do with their portion sizes as well.  If we go Japanese for dinner, I'll most likely be able to control myself...in the food department anyway, there's no telling what will happen at the restaurant..haha..we were some pretty crazy kids back in our uni days!  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

“I’ll buy the next round…”

It's discombobulated hula time!
Round 2 – Wait?  You mean I have to do this more than once?  It’s a continual thing…yeah? 

Tuesday equals cardio in the morning and Jonathan in the afternoon.  The first part was pretty much like the day before with slightly more balance and just a tiny bit more tension/incline/speed, what have you…same sweaty mess at the end of it though. 

This is waaaayyyyy too much information, I know, but my brand spankin’ new sports bra is crap.  My boobs think they’re Steve McQueen.  I need to buy something that the pair of them can’t tunnel through to freedom, something possibly akin to Brünnhilde’s breastplate, something that would make Richard Wagner proud.  Of course, metal would be best but with the amount I’m sweating…it would corrode in mere minutes.       

Back to the workout…my afternoon session was more…how do I put this?  Holy sh!t.  And here I was thinking the cardio part was hard.  Remember those Canadian Fitness Tests that we all did in elementary school?  Well…I feel like I did one of those again…today.  Luckily, my “gym teacher” wasn’t a cranky aging athlete in tear-away pants…AND he didn’t make me climb a rope.  It was more like, “Here’s a wall, bend your knees to 90 degrees and hang out for as long as you can.”  Oh, of course…lemme just do that for 10 bloody seconds.  No, I didn’t want that recorded...so I did it again and lasted 20 seconds.  And, I did 8 push-ups…pretty impressive, eh?  Bahaha…

And so on and so forth.  Sweat, sweat, sweat…squat, squat, squat…elliptical, elliptical, elliptical, weights, weights, weights…and my coordination is just stellar.  For a good time, come see me when I’m starting to fade.  Oh, you want me to pull these stretchy bands?  Put everything I have into it?  Okay…let me just do some sort of discombobulated hula that I just made up while I do so.    

I can’t stand it when I know I suck…and I sucked.  I sucked hard.  However, I didn’t NOT do it because I knew I sucked…and I found pride and a double negative in that…so the experience was a positive one.

And then I walked home.  OW!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Exercise, not extra size

Monday – Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre – I’m meeting Jonathan for my first cardio session and I’m crapping my pants…haha…at least he’s not scary.

And then all of a sudden, “I’m on a bike!”  I can do this.  Can’t I?  Let’s just increase that tension to 6, because I’m awesome.  After 3 minutes:  I used to be able to do this.  Remember when I could do this?  Where’s my towel…dear gods is all that sweat coming from me?  And what the H. E. double hockey sticks happened to my legs?  How come they are not working?  Ack!  Jonathan’s coming…let’s turn that 6 into 8 for a couple of minutes.  Water, I need water…wait, why has my coochie fallen asleep?  Puff, puff, puff…how long have I been at this?  Obviously, around 23 minutes…are you frickin’ kidding me…13 minutes?  Probably shouldn’t have been so confident.

7 minutes later and I have no feeling below the waist.  Here’s an idea…pregnant woman who want to experience natural childbirth without labour pain only need ride a stationary bike for 20 minutes…voilà…exercise epidural.  I’m expected to jump on a treadmill for ANOTHER 20 minutes now!?!?!?!  You’ve got to be joking.  Oh, I see, Jonathan…you are not.  As I said before, I love walking (walking to and from things) especially if there’s some exotic scenery…today, seniors in the pool doing water aerobics must suffice.  Let’s do this.


And…I’m walking like a cowboy.  So, I’m not used to walking on a treadmill…and I’ve just had what Jonathan assured me was a comfy seat shoved up my backside for 20 minutes…this is going to be fun.  Don’t fall off, don’t fall off, don’t fall off!  I have discovered that you need to treat treadmills as you do a fear of heights.  Don’t look down, focus on one point directly ahead of you, and eventually it’ll be over.  Now what?

I’m feeling rather spent, so Jonathan pops me on the hardest machine I have ever experienced.  Enter…the elliptical.  Please remember, I have no sensation in my lower extremities and at this point...frankly I’m surprised I’m still vertical.  May I take a course on the elliptical before I try it out?  Apparently, forwards and backwards are very difficult to distinguish for some people…i.e. me.  Okay, I’m going forward…and I am not falling off because on this puppy you use your arms too.  And I’m showing off a little because, well, I’m able to do it.  And then at the end of 3 minutes, I’m ready to die.  How am I going to be able to do this for 17 more minutes?  


I have of course taken the necessary precautions and checked that the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre is equipped with fire extinguishers…just in case my thighs set the place alight.  If the fire station proves to be too far away, I can always jump in the water.  And, why are there so many crickets around me?

Finally, I am done. 

I did it.  I did 60 whole minutes of cardio…and if I can do it, so can you.  So I hope, dear reader, that this inspires you, because even if the road is long and hard and filled with elliptical machines and tiny bike seats, you can do it!  Keep your eye on the prize.

Why monkeys make you thinner...

Here’s the thing about exercising…I will do pretty much anything to get out of it.  So why would I subject myself to personal trainer torture?  

In the past couple years there have only been a few instances where I have gone above and beyond in the exercise department…each took place in Japan.   

My beautiful monkey reward.
My friends, this is the reason the Japanese are teeny-tiny and live a very, very long time…before you can appreciate the unbelievable architecture, reach spiritual enlightenment, or feed the monkeys…you have to climb 80,000 steps, visit 88 temples as an arukihenro, or climb a mountain…and before that they force you to eat raw fish and $80 square watermelons. 

No, they don’t…but there are miniscule octogenarians climbing hundreds of stairs to get to shines, walking pilgrimages in Shikoku, and scaling Iwatayama to admire the primates…and they’re doing it in kimono and geta.  So, this 250 pound gaijin sucked it up and did it too.

Hopefully, Jonathan has some Shinto shrines and a macaque or two to dangle in front of me to keep me going.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Nothing happens until something moves - Albert Einstein

And so I must move, because I want something to happen.

So...why do I want to move?  Well...Here's the reason I gave the paper:
I want to rekindle my love affair with being active.  I used to swim, ski, mountain bike, ride horses, snowboard, kayak, hike, and dance up a storm...and I want to get back to all of that.  Heck, I'll be happy to climb up a flight of stairs without winding myself.  Ha!

That sounds really good, right?

Well, what if I said I also long to wear skinny, leather pants at some point...and pencil skirts, with Cuban-heeled stockings and high, high, high heels, and those pirate boots that go over your knee...haha...and dresses!?  Would you think me superficial?  Well, maybe I am a bit...and I don't care.  I miss fashion.  For the last 15 years, I have not been able to fully express myself through my clothes and I work for a fashion brand!  At least my make-up is trendy.

And so of course, at our meeting today...I told ALL of this to Jonathan Carpenter, my trainer..."oh, and also..muscles are sexy, sign me up for some of those."  *Cringe*  Luckily, he's super professional and has a plan.  Starting tomorrow I'll be doing cardio 6 days a week at the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre...and doubling up with added strength training on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I have Saturdays off...thank gods.  It worries me that Jonathan repeatedly said that this week would be the easiest.  I'm going to die.

Jonathan, you have your work cut out for you.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week 1 Peep Show (For your eyes only)

"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful," Oscar Wilde wrote that in THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY and who am I to argue?  Those words have been my mantra for some time now, they are part of my byline so to speak.  

Suzie Spitfyre - I can resist anything but temptation.

So how do I give in to temptation (in my case food and drink) and still maintain a healthy diet?  This is how - use pure, unadulterated, flavourful ingredients such as fresh fruits and veg, lean proteins, and whole grains.  Then prep those components for meals ahead of time, have them at the ready.  And then let the creative juices flow!  Explore new recipes and make things up as you go along....the result is delectable, healthy meals.   

Here are some examples of just that...WARNING:  Food Porn ahead.

01/17/13 - Breakfast - My favourite thing for breakfast has always been lunch.  Here I heated up a wok with 1 teaspoon of peanut oil in it and threw in an egg that had been lightly beaten and combined with ginger and a bit of soy sauce.  I let that cook and fluff up, then tossed in a bunch of different veggies, and a cup of last night's refrigerated jasmine rice.  Took it off the heat, stirred in a tablespoon each of oyster sauce and Chinese black vinegar, and tadaaaaaaaaaaa!  Healthy breakkie.  
Breakfast stir-fry and green tea.
01/17/13 - Dinner - Tacos de Pescado, otherwise known as the best tacos in the world!  This is super simple to make and mouthwateringly delicious to eat.  I used mahi-mahi, but you can use any kind of fish.  Simply pack a bunch of store-bought taco seasoning on both sides of the fillets and grill to perfection.  Chop up all the goodies you want to go in your whole-wheat tortillas...I chose to include cilantro, leafy green lettuce, fat-free sour cream, salsa, and avocado.  Wrap 'em up and enjoy.  The game changer here is my favourite condiment of late, chimichurri...and you'll kick yourself if you don't add a squirt of fresh lime juice.  ¿Como se dice 'yummy' en español?
Delicioso! Tacos con pescado.
01/18/13 - Lunch - This may be look like a pathetic adult-amateur entry into this week's food porn Peep Show, but my tuna sammi was just too pretty to leave out.  And, it just goes to show that sometimes you gotta relax and just enjoy it.  Water-packed tuna, drained and enhanced with fresh dill, light dilly dip, salt and pep, and chopped up celery.  The whole-wheat kaiser was a bit of a splurge, but since I'm tracking everything I eat, I accounted for it.  This ain't your mama's tunafish sammi.
Guilty pleasure:  Tuna sammi with lots of lettuce and some cucumber.
01/19/13 - Brunch -  They call me "Recyclops" at MAC, and for good reason:  I don't like waste.  I recycled the remnants of a healthy chili dinner from a previous night, added a couple pieces of rye toast, poached two eggs, and garnished with chimichurri to create a waist-reducing Eggs Benedict à la Suzie or maybe it was Huevos Rancheros Suzie-style.
Rerun:  Modified huevos rancheros.

Peep Show complete.

Tomorrow, I "dance with the devil in the pale moonlight"...or rather, I meet my trainer around noonish at the gym.  Like the Joker, I just like the sound of that better...and after all...I am his prey.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Notre-Dame-de-Gras

Friteries 11561 rue Notre-Dame E, Pointe-Aux-Trembles
CONFESSION:  Until, very recently (this past Wednesday) I had been a long-time member of the congregation of Notre-Dame-de-Gras.  In fact, my devotion to Our-Lady-of-Fat went far beyond most zealots...I was practically a nun.  Sister Poutinette, that was me.  I took communion in various forms:  Black Velvets, wine, cider, ramen noodles, potato chips, KD, egg rolls, and the holiest of holies...fast food...the list was extensive.  If I had continued down my sanctimonious path, I would have been made a saint, or died a martyr.

But, this Wednesday, I was born again!  Hallelujah!  I saw the light, I saw the light, no more darkness, no more night!  Or rather, my picture was in the Times Colonist yesterday with all my Heath Challenge cronies...and the headline read:  MEET THE 2013 TC HEALTH CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS.  Bam!  Instant accountability.  This is for real.  No more worshipping false gods.

FYI...I have 2 appointments set up for next week with my saviours, Jonathan (my trainer) and Heather (my dietitian), and I fully expect to repent for all my sins and ask for absolution.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

¡Me encanta el chimichurri de Geoffrey!

Chimichurri over poached eggs...take that Hollandaise!
You can get through life without knowing how to tango, speak Spanish, or navigate the cosmopolitan streets of Buenos Aires...but you simply cannot go through life without knowing the savoury succulence that is chimichurri.

Chimichurri is an Argentine steak sauce...but I use it on everything from warm new potato salad to baked chicken.  It adds immense flavour and vibrant colour to any dish.  It is ambrosial, or more likely the pre-Columbian equivalent.  Panchamama and Viracocha want you to try this sauce.

And, unlike butter, chimi is fresh and healthy...you want this in your fridge.

Mi primo Geoffrey's Amazeballs Chimichurri

6 cloves of garlic
1/3 of a cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2/3 of a cup fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Just so you know, exact measurements aren't necessary...I usually approximate the green stuff.  I do, however, measure the olive oil so that I can track the calories.  Throw the garlic and olive oil in the food processor first and pulse until the garlic is pulverised.  Then toss the rest of the ingredients in there and combine.  Y ya está...chimichurri!

De nada.